IT’S BEEN 100 years since the guns of World War I fell silent – and this morning at Frederickton, a small yet significant ceremony played out.
One year on from the end of the War that was supposed to end all wars – a planting of camphor laurels was undertaken in a line from Frederickton (on the eastern side of the Macleay) across to Remembrance Dr on the other side of the river and all the way to the cenotaph.
Kempsey-Macleay RSL sub-branch president Terry Hunt explained the trees were dedicated to the 27 people from Frederickton who served in WWI – six of whom paid the ultimate price.
The building of the new Kempsey Bridge across the floodplain led to the destruction of some of the camphors, while others had to be taken down as they had become sick and dangerous.
So this morning’s ceremony – thanks to the support of Kempsey Shire Council – saw a fresh planting, as part of a reinvigoration of the living memorial, Terry said.
Instead of camphors, a Crows Ash was chosen – as Terry said it was similar in form to the original trees, many of which still stand, and it was well suited for the location.
“I can’t thank council enough as they have been ready to engage with us on this project, and the trees are being planted on council land,” Terry told the Argus.
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Also on hand at the ceremony were deputy mayor Ashley Williams, general manager Craig Milburn and the Kempsey District Silver Band, who performed The Last Post, Reveille, and the national anthem.
“Our parks guys will look after these trees and they are pretty passionate about this project,” Mr Milburn said.